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What is a castle?

A grand and opulent castle is usually the former abode of kings and queens, dukes, dames and nobles. These days, it's also possible to find a castle that is a hotel, which offers style and aristocratic living for the duration of your holiday. Historic architecture and sumptuous interiors combine with fine-dining restaurants and gorgeous grounds to make you feel like royalty, while swimming pools, spas and beautiful country locations nearby the castle are also common.

Why should I stay at a castle?

You should stay in a castle if you need a little pampering and luxury within the nostalgic history of solid stone. These places are often 5- or 4-star retreats with spas to help you unwind, and leafy gardens to wander in contemplation. The interiors channel centuries of history, which is perfect if you really love to immerse yourself in the heritage of a destination. Other castles to stay in are perfect for romantic honeymoons where they offer luxury bistros and butler room service.


Where do you find castles?

Castles are mostly found in Europe, parts of Asia, and Northern Africa. It's no surprise that you can bag castles in Scotland, for example, where they stud the fells of the Highlands and pepper the countryside near UNESCO-tagged cities. Ancient stone castle accommodations in places Ireland is an experience.

But it doesn't end there, because castles in Europe can channel opulent Baroque styles or German history, and there are more in the United States to pick from with flamboyant Neo-Gothic facades and the like (try New York's Highland Castle).


How much does it cost to stay in a castle?

It should hardly be a surprise that castle accommodation doesn't come cheap. In fact, a suite in these heritage-rich, historic establishments can often be one of the most expensive in any given destination. That's because the best castles to stay in tout 5-star or 4-star ratings, swimming pools, spas and more.

Alternatively, you could seek out castle bed and breakfast options and more low-key palaces that can get the royal vibes flowing for less.

What do castle hotels offer?

Castles might just be the most immersive sort of accommodation you can pick, especially in terms of history and heritage. That's because these aged hotels are usually housed in centuries-old palaces or citadels, all oozing tales of former kings, queens, battles and more. Castles also herald luxury. Honeymooners can have plush suites with Romeo-Juliet balconies and butler service. Spa goers can get plenty of pools and tubs and saunas. Outdoorsy types can go for castles near Scottish fells or the Bavarian countryside.


Castles vs hotels

Potential visitors may ponder what's the difference between castles and hotels.

If a conventional room just isn't going to cut it for that once-in-a-lifetime honeymoon or luxury getaway, then perhaps a castle has got the frills you're after. Setting themselves apart from the usual hotel crowd with striking architecture and centuries of history, these sorts of stays have immersive stories to tell.

Location is also important, with historic settings in old towns or in beautiful backcountry where conventional hotels simply can't be found.


How to book a castle

It might be hard to believe, but you can now bag that royal suite in a castle in just the same way you go about booking a hotel room.

There might not be quite so many options to pick from, but Expedia makes it easy to discover them, even if you're searching for castles close to me. Just enter your destination into the search and filter results by accommodation type. You can even save some money by booking flights, car rentals, and a hotel castle in the same package.